What happened at the Statehouse this week

Week of Apr 5 – apr 7

New bills filed (highlights) 

  • S.1236 – Providing every taxpayer a rebate of $100 for each month that the average regular price of gas exceeds $4 per gallon
  • H.5223 – A handgun must not be confiscated, nor its owner arrested, if during a traffic stop the gun is found underneath a seat in the vehicle
  • S.1247 – Creating a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) coalition within the Department of Commerce to build a STEM workforce (an identical House bill was introduced last week, H.5158)
  • S.1251 – Constitutional amendment to provide that an alumnus of a South Carolina college or university who resides in another state can be elected as a board member for the college he/she graduated from
  • H.5195 – A law enforcement officer, a prosecutor, or the attorney general may require the disclosure of “stored wire, digital, or electronic communications”
  • H.5224 – Increasing award amounts for the LIFE and HOPE scholarships

*Now that the crossover deadline has passed (which technically falls on Sunday, April 10), new bills filed during the remainder of session have a very slim chance of becoming law.*

What passed? (highlights) 

  • S.984Changing the definition of fee as it relates to charges imposed by local governments; strikes requirement that the fee be used to fund a service/program that benefits the payer differently than the general public (passed full Senate). Watch our video on this issue here >>
  • H.4985 – Establishes a new economic development agency with broad powers called the I-95 Corridor Authority (read The Nerve’s article about it here)  
  • S.945 – School boards must make “reasonable and necessary” efforts to ensure their meetings are streamed and open to the public; requiring video of meetings to be posted online within two business days (passed full Senate)
  • H.3524 Extending the ban on private pipeline companies using eminent domain until 2024 (we recommended a similar policy in our analysis of this issue, read more here) (passed Senate with amendments, returned to House
  • H.5198Firing the current University of South Carolina board; shrinking the board to 13 voting members from 20 (the bill was introduced Tuesday, immediately placed on the calendar without going through the committee process, and passed by the House Thursday)
  • H.5183 – Prohibiting concepts associated with Critical Race Theory from being taught in K-12 public schools (passed full House)
  • H.4608 – Sports in K-12 public schools and colleges must be designated based on biological sex; women/girls can participate in mens/boys sports programs, but not the reverse (passed House committee
  • S.203 – Details specific offenses for which the governor can remove a school board trustee (conference report adopted by Senate)

Budget transparency 

2 of 6 budget subcommittee meetings were streamed this week. The two meetings that were streamed dealt with the education funding formula and related education provisos. The unstreamed meetings dealt with provisos for:

  • Natural resources and economic development agencies;
  • Transportation and regulatory agencies;
  • Health and human services agencies; and
  • Constitutional agencies

To see how many budget meetings were streamed in previous weeks, click here.